Facebook business owners are now rejoicing as Facebook’s promotional guidelines update will allow them to launch promotions, contests and sweepstakes without a need for 3rd party apps such as Wildfire, Buddy Media and Offerpop. While the changes are targeting small business, many of whom have been doing this for a while, agencies will be able to leverage this opportunity to increase their social media capabilities. Instead of paying a vendor thousands of dollars to create and track a promotion, agencies can use a social media manager to do all of this, while increasing the engagement on the Facebook Timeline. It’ll also give agencies the opportunity to tout their ability to be nimble and real time with content and promotions. Small businesses can start doing quick and fun campaigns to reward engagement.
For companies like Offerpop, Woobox, this means that they’ll have to start offering tools to take advantage of these changes but also look at Facebook as a competitor. Who’s to say Facebook doesn’t come out with a free competing tool next week? It’s a reason why many social media companies don’t like building on top of Facebook or have and learned their lesson (Zynga). These platforms will have to look to build outside of the Facebook platform or new platforms that have engaging consumers. Problem is that brands and agencies tend to drive those initiatives. As a result, if clients only focus their primary marketing efforts on Facebook then it’s a waste to invest in new, up and coming platforms.
The new guidelines will certainly be a boon for Facebook as the marketing budgets spent on 3rd party solutions will now go to ad spend as sponsored stories. With that said, it’s not the end of the world for some of these companies. Some of them will innovate and move beyond reliance on Facebook. Some of them will eventually go away, especially those who focus on small businesses.
What platforms do you use for contests and promotions? Do you think Facebook’s new guidelines make it easier for brands to hold contests?